We’ve seen just about every kind of clever, DIY trick here at Lifehacker, but we’ve seen a lot of stinkers too. We recently stumbled upon an insanely popular video filled with organisation hacks and, well, we have some thoughts…
The Facebook video in question comes from Blossom, and, as of this writing, has been viewed 320 million times. It features seven different hacks to help you organise your clutter. Here it is in full:
I sat down with two other Lifehacker staff writers, Beth Skwarecki and Patrick Lucas Austin, so we could express our opinions on these “hacks” one at a time. To avoid confusion, I’ll be “Me”, Patrick will be “Patrick”, Beth will be “Beth”, and you will be “you”. Let’s begin.
Underwear Tissue Box
Me: OK, first up is the panties tissue box thing…
Patrick: Patrick, you were nonplussed by the undies tissue box.
Me: Yes, I think it’s very stupid.
Beth: What problem is it supposed to solve?
Patrick: Well, it might not be a problem for you, but I can see this working very well for someone with a child.
Me: That’s fair. For adults, though, I feel like a drawer is good enough. Maybe get a drawer separator?
Beth: Even for a kid though. What do you gain? The undies are in a box, but you can do that without the fancy folding. And then you still have to find space for the extras unless you have EXACTLY that many undies.
Patrick: Just tamp ’em down.
Me: It’s a clever method for sure, but seems like more hassle than helpful.
Patrick: I think I’m gonna try it out and see how it goes. Like you said, I can’t imagine it being too useful for adults.
Me: Also, I’d hate to give my kid the notion that their underwear is disposable, like most things you pull out of boxes like that.
Beth: Oh man that is exactly what they would think… Garbage full of underwear.
Patrick: I think one or two talks about not throwing away your bloomers might solve that issue. (Maybe this thing belongs in the bathroom, when you really think about it.)
The Magic Japanese Shirt Fold
Patrick: Ah, the infamous “Japanese shirt fold”.
Me: Yes, how magical it looks…
Patrick: Is this KonMari approved?
Me: It doesn’t bring me joy, Patrick.
Beth: Alright, the shirt folding is the one I just don’t get. It’s easier and quicker to just do a regular fold without laying it flat. I hold the shirt by the shoulders, fold the sleeves away from me, then fold it in half or thirds as I set it down.
Patrick: This reminds me of those clothes folding boards you see at the GAP, just less useful because you’re eyeballing it.
Me: If I was folding all my shirts in front of someone I wanted to impress, I would learn it. It does look really cool. But beyond that, I just, I don’t… Why?!
Patrick: “Hold on a sec baby, just gotta fold all these shirts real quick. In the JAPANESE FOLDING STYLE.”
Beth: I hadn’t considered the “picking up chicks at the laundromat” scenario. That would work! You’d have a flat surface there too.
Me: Hahaha, “Impressed? Let us make love on the rest of this unfolded laundry…”
Beth: You must have a more private laundromat than I am envisioning…
Patrick: You’re such a romantic, Patrick.
Me: It’s late, no one is around, nothing but the sound of dryers tumbling our daily costumes…
Patrick: I mean, when you put it that way how can I say no?
Me: Hahaha, OK, so would you guys ever learn this for real?
Beth: I mean, it does get the shirts folded! There’s nothing wrong with it. Just no reason to switch away from whatever you’re already doing.
Patrick: To me this is a parlour trick, plain and simple. It’s like pen spinning.
Me: Yup! So it’s official, this shirt folding technique is the “pen spinning of laundry”.
Patrick: *jazz hands* LIFEHACK! *jazz hands*
Pop Top Hangers
Beth: Pop top hangers…
Me: Alright, so this is a mostly legit space-saving technique.
Beth: No it’s not!
Beth: You have the same number of garments in the same amount of space. You’ve solved nothing.
Me: Actually… Yeah, you’re right.
Beth: This could be handy if you have a shirt/pants outfit that you want to keep together. Because otherwise you have to save those weird hangers.
Patrick: I think this life hack depends more on angles and structural integrity than not. The problem with stuffing a closet with clothes is the actual matter of the hanger taking up space.
Me: My tip to this person trying this hack would be “get rid of the crap you don’t wear, you have too much crap in your closet.”
Beth: Good hack. I might be getting ahead of myself, but did you guys notice that each hanger hack uses a different type of hanger?
Patrick: I did, and it bothered me.
Me: Yes, ugh.
Beth: These are not hacks for people who are making do with the hangers they have. These are inventions where you have to buy a specific hanger type to start with!
Me: So, we actually featured this trick before… but that was like five years ago and…
Patrick: “You’re not actually saving space in the closet, but it does keep the hangers from bunching up next to each other on the rack. Plus, if you like to keep a specific pair of pants with a shirt, or tie with a shirt, this is a great way to keep them together.”
Beth: Yeah, ours was better.
Me: Exactly. We knew what was up. And still do. I think.
Patrick: Soft drink tab hangers: Still holds up.
Me: Just not for saving space.
Patrick: Oh, I meant for Beth’s clothes-pairing trick. I don’t think you’re defying the laws of physics with your empty can of New Coke.
DIY Felt Drawer Organiser
Patrick: This felt organiser hack drives me up the wall…
Me: Oh man, me too.
Beth: I don’t see any flaws, exactly, but I can’t imagine actually doing it. Why don’t you just roll up your socks and put them next to each other?
Patrick: There are so many flaws! The construction, the materials, the stuffing of the socks…
Me: I mean, if you’re going to the store to buy felt, just buy a drawer organiser! This is some craft-y garbage for real…
Beth: Maybe this person made a project and has exactly that many pieces of exactly that size of felt left over?
Patrick: That glue is gonna come apart after a month
Beth: Yeah, not the glue but the felt fibres next to the glue. If you ever move or touch it.
Patrick: And that felt is gonna pick up the fibres from the sock, the glue might adhere to sock fibres — it’s a whole mess.
Me: Yeah, the worst one in this video, in my opinion.
Patrick: I fold my socks over and layer them — way easier than this weird trick.
Beth: I do like that it can compress to accommodate other things in the drawer, rather than being a fixed size. But that’s not enough to recommend it.
Patrick: Instead of a rigid drawer organiser?
Beth: Yeah, when I think of drawer organisers I think of boxes.
Me: Same, like those cheap ones from IKEA. Just buy those, people.
Beth: I just stack my socks. Is that so hard?!? The real life hack here is to buy a bunch of the same socks, throw ’em in a stack or pile, and then it doesn’t matter whether you have a cute organiser or not. But I don’t have a collection of bacon socks. Maybe I’m just jealous.
Me: UNLESS you have a massive stockpile of felt to use up, need some sort of crafty thing to keep you busy, or hate spending your time on useful things.
Beth: But if you want to spend that effort on socks… maybe you should knit some socks.
Wool Jumper Hanging Trick
Me: OK, the alt jumper hang. I actually like this.
Patrick: Perfect description. I’m unsure. It seems smart in theory but now I’m just worried it will muck with my jumper in a different, unexpected manner.
Beth: I have not tried this. I feel like I should go try this… Hang on.
Patrick: Hanger on.
Patrick: Thank you, thank you.
Me: I don’t have any jumpers like this since I’m not a ’90s sitcom character, but I could see it being useful. I also live in a place where jumpers are banned.
Patrick: Are you trying it now, Beth? I have two long-sleeve jumpers to help channel my inner Dad™.
Beth: OK, yes, I’m trying it.
Me: Does it stay put?
Beth: First, the body of the jumper is exactly the same size (folded) as that arm of the hanger. So if your sweater is any bigger than mine, it will be hanging off the edge. Also, it only sort of stays put.
Beth: Like, it’s OK for now…
Me: But will probably fall?
Beth: Stick it in your closet and it will be on the floor tomorrow.
Rubber Band Non-Slip Hangers
Beth: OK, this is a problem with a million solutions.
Patrick: Enlighten us.
Beth: Hangers with built-in hooks, clothes with built-in loops…
Me: Yeah, all my very cheap plastic hangers have the built in hooks.
Beth: It’s a fine idea if you need it, though. I guess I should try it to be sure, but seems legit.
Me: Yeah, it’s fine I guess. I mean, we’ve already suggested everything from hot glue to Sugru to hockey tape, so….
Patrick: Add rubber bands to the list.
Me: Boom. Added. My thought on this one is the same with most of these hacks. Just buy some new hangers. They are so cheap…
Pool-Noodle Boot Stands
Patrick: Y’all ready for the pièce de résistance?
Me: Ah yes, last but not least, noodle boots… Which are way less fun than they sound.
Patrick: I absolutely love this one.
Me: I don’t have any boots, and don’t know proper boot care, but it seems interesting.
Patrick: As a person who grew up in a home filled with boots of all sorts, their floppiness was always a slap in the face whenever I would tidy up the closet. Everything in order except these boots, standing limply in defiance of me.
Beth: Floppy boots are so annoying. I have one pair of tall boots, and they are always flopped over.
Patrick: Get yourself a noodle.
Beth: Yeah, I should. I haven’t tested this but it seems pretty reasonable.
Me: So this is a winner?
Patrick: I’m kinda mad I didn’t think of this one. I’m a fan.
Beth: Speculatively, yes.
Patrick: Probably the best one of the bunch, unless it stinks your boots up. Who knows what those things are made of…
Me: Oh good, we’ve covered it before.
Patrick: These are all great noodle hacks.
Beth: I think the boots would stink up the noodle.
Me: Maybe you can fill the centre of the noodle with activated carbon or something.
Beth: Ooh fancy. Scented boot noodles.
OK, that’s a wrap! Thanks for joining us!